Iraq: Do not negotiate on hostages

  1. Iraq: Do not negotiate on hostages

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Baghdad has urged governments not to negotiate with hostage takers amid uncertainty over whether Manila is going to withdraw its troops earlier than planned.

    Militants holding a Filipino in Iraq have said they will release him on Tuesday, according to a diplomatic source in Baghdad.

    The news came moments after the Philippine government said it would withdraw its 50-member humanitarian force from Iraq "as soon as possible" to save the life of Angelo de la Cruz, a 46-year-old father of eight.

    The statement was made by the Philippines deputy foreign minister Rafael Seguis on the Arabic-language Al-Jazeera network.

    The Philippine force is due to depart on August 20 and Seguis did not announce a new departure date.

    But the abductors have demanded that the Philippine troops leave Iraq by July 20.

    Most governments have said that although they talk with militants, no ransoms have been paid or demands met.

    A senior U.S. administration official has said the White House had no official notice that the Philippines would pull its troops early and Manila has remained quiet so far on the issue.

    U.S. officials have stressed the importance of countries with hostages in Iraq not giving in to terrorists.

    Vice President Dick Cheney said so repeatedly in April when visiting Tokyo while Japanese civilians were being held in Iraq.

    And speaking to reporters at the NATO summit in Istanbul last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said it was a mistake for countries to give in to the demands of the kidnappers.

    "It is not wise to allow yourself to be terrorized. It's not wise to acquiesce, to threats and bullying, and intimidation. Once you start down that road, it's a dead end."

    At the time Rumsfeld praised both Japan and South Korea for not giving in to terrorist demands after some of its citizens were kidnapped in Iraq, and criticized Spain for its decision to withdraw its troops from Iraq after a deadly train bombing in Madrid.

    "Their goal is to terrorize people and alter their behavior, try to do what they did in Spain, which is change an outcome of something. Fortunately, as this has happened we've seen country after country stand up and say they are not going to be dissuaded." Rumsfeld said.

    'Pleading for release'
    "In the name of the Filipino people and the name of humanity and the family of de la Cruz and his eight children, the government of the Philippines is pleading for his release," Seguis told the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera.

    The hostage-takers -- who have identified themselves as members of the Khaled Bin Al-Walid Squadrons, part of the Islamic Army of Iraq -- have issued several deadlines, only to change them.

    Earlier Monday, Al-Jazeera reported that the group said it had taken de la Cruz to the place where his "punishment" would be meted out.

    "They offered him food and water," the network reported.

    "The hostage asked that his corpse be handed to his government, and he asked for one more day to allow him the chance of sending one last message to his president. The [kidnappers'] statement continued that the Islamic Army did its best to prove to the world it did everything it could to keep the hostage alive."

    Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Delia Albert said Sunday that her government would not comply with the kidnappers' demand, a decision announced after a five-hour Cabinet meeting.

    Meanwhile, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said Sunday it had information indicating two of its citizens being held hostage in Iraq were alive, though a reported deadline set by the kidnappers had passed.

    The ministry identified the hostages as Ivailo Kepov and Georgi Lazov, and said they are truckers.

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html


    I hope this is not a trend...giving in to terrorists. :stone
    •  
  2. 88 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    I read the article -- so who is supposedly "giving in to terrorists"? The Phillipine government has said all along that it is withdrawing its troops August 20, and all I have heard on the news so far is that they are still planning on withdrawing their troops on August 20.

    A lot of people have tried to characterize the Spanish withdrawal as "caving in" in response to the bombing, but the candidate that won their election had campaigned all along on the promise that he would immediately withdraw the Spanish troops if elected. The Spanish people voted for him instead of the administration that sent troops to Iraq despite the vast majority of the Spanish public being strongly opposed to entering the war. When he won the election, he did what he had promised -- what's wrong with that? (We should be so lucky here in America, that our candidates keep their promises after they're elected! )
  4. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from elkpark
    I read the article -- so who is supposedly "giving in to terrorists"? The Phillipine government has said all along that it is withdrawing its troops August 20, and all I have heard on the news so far is that they are still planning on withdrawing their troops on August 20.

    A lot of people have tried to characterize the Spanish withdrawal as "caving in" in response to the bombing, but the candidate that won their election had campaigned all along on the promise that he would immediately withdraw the Spanish troops if elected. The Spanish people voted for him instead of the administration that sent troops to Iraq despite the vast majority of the Spanish public being strongly opposed to entering the war. When he won the election, he did what he had promised -- what's wrong with that? (We should be so lucky here in America, that our candidates keep their promises after they're elected! )
    Apparently the demand is to withdraw the troops a month sooner than planned.
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html
  5. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from elkpark
    I read the article -- so who is supposedly "giving in to terrorists"? The Phillipine government has said all along that it is withdrawing its troops August 20, and all I have heard on the news so far is that they are still planning on withdrawing their troops on August 20.

    A lot of people have tried to characterize the Spanish withdrawal as "caving in" in response to the bombing, but the candidate that won their election had campaigned all along on the promise that he would immediately withdraw the Spanish troops if elected. The Spanish people voted for him instead of the administration that sent troops to Iraq despite the vast majority of the Spanish public being strongly opposed to entering the war. When he won the election, he did what he had promised -- what's wrong with that? (We should be so lucky here in America, that our candidates keep their promises after they're elected! )

    Exactly. During the buildup to the war, 90%(!) of Spain's population was against the war but Aznar ignored the wishes of his electorate and joined hands with Bush anyway. Why in the world would they then re-elect him and why wouldn't they withdraw at the first chance? Were they then supposed to stay in Iraq just to prove something to the terrorists? That's silly.


    As for the Phillipines, if they were already planning to withdraw then why not leave one month early to save the life of that man? I bet he and his family don't think he should die just to prove a point especially as they were planning to leave anyway.
  6. by   fergus51
    I would have a hard time if my father or husband was killed to make a point. Staying an extra month hardly seems that important.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I agree with elkpark, sharon and fergus. WHAT is the ISSUE leaving a month early, when the plan all along was to leave???? If it were YOUR family member, would you not appreciate it? It's easy for us to sit and judge this, not having loved ones taken hostage I guess, the actions of the Philippine gov't to withdraw early. But if the plan all along was to go,then they ought leave.
  8. by   BeachNurse
    The point is they are doing exactly what the terrorists want. I guess I should not be surprised that some people would not see a problem with that.
  9. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from elkpark
    I read the article -- so who is supposedly "giving in to terrorists"? The Phillipine government has said all along that it is withdrawing its troops August 20, and all I have heard on the news so far is that they are still planning on withdrawing their troops on August 20.
    Quote from elkpark

    A lot of people have tried to characterize the Spanish withdrawal as "caving in" in response to the bombing, but the candidate that won their election had campaigned all along on the promise that he would immediately withdraw the Spanish troops if elected. The Spanish people voted for him instead of the administration that sent troops to Iraq despite the vast majority of the Spanish public being strongly opposed to entering the war. When he won the election, he did what he had promised -- what's wrong with that? (We should be so lucky here in America, that our candidates keep their promises after they're elected! )


    The Spanish people made it clear that they were voting for that candidate BECAUSE he would withdraw troops. Remember the protests after the train was bombed? So, as far as I am concerned, they "caved".
    Now there are protests to remove Phillipine troops earlier than planned due to the Phillipine hostage.
    I certainly hope the Phillipine people do not go the way of the Spanish.
  10. by   fergus51
    Quote from BeachNurse
    The point is they are doing exactly what the terrorists want. I guess I should not be surprised that some people would not see a problem with that.
    Would you be willing to sacrifice a family member to keep those workers in for another month?

    If they were planning on staying indefinitely I would feel differently. As it is, I sympathize more with this hostage's family.
  11. by   fergus51
    Quote from Mschrisco

    The Spanish people made it clear that they were voting for that candidate BECAUSE he would withdraw troops. Remember the protests after the train was bombed? So, as far as I am concerned, they "caved".
    Now there are protests to remove Phillipine troops earlier than planned due to the Phillipine hostage.
    I certainly hope the Phillipine people do not go the way of the Spanish.
    I don't understand how this is caving. The Spanish people NEVER supported their country's involvement in Iraq. So why would they vote for a party that did support it, just because they were bombed? Seems to me, if they were never in favor of having troops there in the first place, they can't really be accused of caving for NOT changing their position since caving implies giving into something you don't really want.
  12. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from fergus51
    I would have a hard time if my father or husband was killed to make a point. Staying an extra month hardly seems that important.


    Keep in mind Osama Bin Laden's words:
    "But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu."

    Osama Bin Laden's Fatwa-Declaration of War
    (any search engine will give the complete text)

    Staying another month IS important. Remember, these people do not think the way we do. They see ANY change as a victory. We cannot show weakness.
  13. by   julieftRN
    Quote from Mschrisco

    Keep in mind Osama Bin Laden's words:
    "But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu."

    Osama Bin Laden's Fatwa-Declaration of War
    (any search engine will give the complete text)

    Staying another month IS important. Remember, these people do not think the way we do. They see ANY change as a victory. We cannot show weakness.
    We certainly cant show weakness to them or to pull out of Iraq to leave these people under the same conditions (with the exception of Sadaam) we did last time. Bush, Jr. did of course learn this from his father's mistake.
  14. by   fergus51
    I can see how they would see it as a victory. I don't see how we can see it as a defeat. Somalia was a defeat because we were driven out. In this case they ARE leaving. The only question is when, this week or in 5 weeks? I don't know if not showing weakness is that important in the grand scheme of things. We don't deter terrorists by maintaining an appearance of strength, since these are people who generally don't mind dying. I remember having this discussion with Kevin (kmchugh). I asked how we can deter terrorists who want to die by showing force and he said maybe we couldn't deter them that way and all we can do is introduce them to Allah as they wanted.

    I think it's more important to worry about the substance than the appearance. I don't know if a symbolic victory (staying for an extra few weeks) is more important than a man's life. I have always had a hard time really believing that ideology is more important than life.

close